Monday, April 5, 2010

Traditional Dress

Norway is a country where tradition and progressive thought merge beautifully. 
Let's talk tradition:  First of all, the landscape is stunning.  Tourists agree and the locals admire it every Easter.  Most Norwegians have Easter week plans to get the last bit of winter nature out of their systems before ALL of the snow disappears:  Skiing in the mountains is probably the most common tradition for them.
But the MOST traditional of traditions is the "bunad".  This is their traditional dress which differs for every location within Norway.  Each valley has not only its own dialect, but its own dress.  Here is a picture I took on the most traditional of days: May 17th, where everyone who has a bunad wears it proudly while strolling the streets and watching the parades.
This is at the harbor in Bergen.  I swear this is the best day to get Norwegians to pose for pictures.  It takes time to get into these costumes and everyone is very proud to show them off. When the weather cooperates, as it did on this day, nothing is better.  No work, just enjoyment that day. 
What prompted me to write about the 17th of May today is  C & H's wedding last week.  H's mother arrived in town with a suitcase full of her bunad.  I had no idea of the layers!  Keep in mind that once you own a bunad, you jump at the chance to wear it at every appropriate occasion!  Someday I'll ask her how often she gets to wear it, however, I know that she has worn it for the weddings of her three children.  
She disappeared into the bathroom and emerged with most of it on and needing a little assistance with the jewelry.
It's quite the work of art, and I imagine that it's a tradition to be able to sew these and present them to brides.  This one is intricate and worn with pride.  The vest is surprisingly colorful, and the whole thing can be comfortably worn outdoors--sturdy fabric!
See the laptop?
That's M visiting the party from 4,000 miles away, keeping up his end of the conversation.


  1. That's a beautiful bunad! Which part of Norway is it from? I know the white ones are from Bergen. I have a Nordlandsbunad in blue. I got it for my Confirmation. I haven't used it for ages now...It's to thight around the belly ;)

    And just link away if you want ;)

  2. It is a Rogalandsbunad. And it is promised away to the first female grandchild for her confirmation, which just happens to be my daughter. :)


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